Can You Play Sports When You Are Pregnant? OUR HEALTH ADVICE – Even during pregnancy, exercising is a good thing. Even if certain sports are to be ruled out.
Playing sports is good for your health. But what about pregnant women? Fear that the fetus will unhook, that this will cause a miscarriage or a premature delivery: many beliefs exist about the possibility for a pregnant woman to play sports.
“Pregnancy is not a pathology,” Dr. Albert immediately reminds us. According to the sports doctor, there is, therefore, no reason to stop all physical activity when you are pregnant.
Can You Play Sports When You Are Pregnant?
Recalls that starting or continuing to play sport during this period is quite possible. Even better, it helps prevent certain complications, limit weight gain or reduce the intensity of pain.
Of course, you have to adapt the intensity of the activity and make sure that there are no contraindications. So, which sports to practice in? How often? And which ones should be avoided?
Brisk walking, swimming, and yoga
“Obviously, we must eliminate all sports at risk of trauma,” insists Dr. Albert, also a member of the National Union of Sports Physicians (SNMS).
Combat sports or those which can lead to a fall are therefore to be avoided, like boxing, karate, climbing, rollerblading … It is the same for team sports (basketball, hockey, football …) in order to avoid any risk of shock.
Other practices should be banned: this is particularly the case with diving, which can lead to malformations and increase the risk of miscarriage.
After the fourth month, you should also avoid exercises lying on your back because this could compress the vena cava, located in the abdomen, and therefore lead to venous insufficiency.
“We particularly recommend enduring sports, ” says the doctor. Brisk walking, swimming, yoga…
Gymnastics are also recommended, as is the exercise bike.
Can You Play Sports When You Are Pregnant?
Short and regular sessions
Whether you start or continue physical activity during pregnancy, adapting it is essential. The two-hour training sessions are over. “At the start of pregnancy, the recommended rate is three sessions of 30 to 40 minutes maximum per week,” explains the specialist. It is then possible, over the weeks, to move to four or five sessions, while keeping the same duration.
The activity should not be too intense. “The person has to be able to continue talking during exercise, otherwise it means their heart rate is too high and you have to slow down,”
Adapting your practice, therefore, means reducing the intensity and length of the sessions. In tennis, for example, it may mean switching to a doubles game, which requires less energy.
The practice of a sport generally makes it possible to maintain the mother in a good state of health. This decreases, for example, lower back and abdominal pain and the risk of developing gestational diabetes, a disorder that can appear towards the end of the second trimester and lead to excess sugar in the blood. If the latter appears, practicing a sport even makes it possible to reduce its severity.
Unsurprisingly, physical activity also helps limit weight gain, which often remains inevitable during pregnancy.
Overall, emergency cesarean sections are less frequent when the mother has had regular training during the pregnancy since complications are less present. And the benefits are also psychological: several studies have shown that exercising during pregnancy reduces stress, anxiety, and the risk of postpartum depression.
Make sure there is no contraindication
Before starting any activity, it is essential to consult a doctor to ensure that there are no contraindications to practicing a sport.
Indeed, in case of pregnancy at risk, sporting activity is not recommended. This can be the case if the placenta is poorly located, in the event of cardiovascular disease, anemia, or twin pregnancy.
And even after the start of sports activities, one must remain vigilant. If during or after the effort, the slightest symptom is detected, you should talk to your gynecologist, midwife, or doctor. “Any sign should alert,” insists Dr. Carpentier. It may be pain, severe fatigue, bleeding, or even contractions. Decreasing or even stopping the activity may then be necessary.
Also read: How To Deal With Depression During Pregnancy